Friday, May 23, 2008
Ron Paul, Change and Obama
As some or all of you know, I no longer endorse Ron Paul for President. That was a very reluctant choice, for at heart I am a Conservative. Indeed, I am a some senses a Paleo-conservative, even as is Alex Jones.
I have come to the decision that for the moment, at this particular time, what is needed is another FDR. As a reflexive conservative, I of course despise all that Franlin D. Roosevelt stood for - and yet as an American - and indeed, as a Canadian, I stand upon his legacy.
As a Canadian-American, I have come to the realization that at some points in time, one must allow Radicalism to reign, in order to rationalize, regulate and restate it in terms of the status quo ante.
For some time past - and I include the Clinton years in this - we have haplessly drifted rightward, to the land of "I don't give a fuck about you."
Taken in isolation, Bill Clinton was one of the best Republican Presidents of the last Century - and all the things he is given credit for, the balanced budget, "Welfare Reform" and the surplus are things that are honestly things that are triumphs of a deliberately Conservative leadership. One can also point to the economic prosperity under Clinton - and the corresponding growth in enterprises such as privatized prisons - as being indicative as the objectives and fruits of a genuinely Conservative president.
Clearly, when Bill Clinton is held up by the Right as the Great Demon of the Left, it is time for the People to demand a correction toward the Center.
That is what happened with FDR, and that is what is going to happen with Obama. Yes, he is more "radical" than what we are accustomed to - but in point of fact, "radicalism" and "conservatism" have never been strange bedfellows.
Scratch a genuine conservative and you will find an idealist, one who genuinely believes that the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Deceleration of Independence are all fundamental to that which is quintessentially American.
American Conservatism is built upon extremely radical ideas - the sovereignty of the individual, as advised by the wisdom of crowds and the power of open and honest debate among equals - regardless of social advantages.
Ron Paul has overstepped his place if he genuinely desires to be President. Or rather, he would be wasted in that capacity, would find it an infuriating and demeaning exercise in compromise and would, alas, find himself unable to implement or even effectively express his best ideas.
Further, I'm afraid that in order to become more universally appealing, he would have to revise his views regarding abortion and the rights of women.
And yet, and as much as I disagree with him on these points, I find his refusal to cede a matter of principle in order to gain a scintilla of political momentum to be genuinely endearing. Indeed, the less I find Ron Paul to be eligible as my choice of president, the more I find him to be one of the few people I really wish to know.
I endorse and support Obama. That does not mean that I particularly care if I like him as an individual.
I LIKE Ron Paul. And the more I like him, the less willing I am for him to be thrown under the bus of History.
Let us face it. FDR, whatever else you may say about him, was a martyr to the cause of these United States. He chose to sacrifice what remained of his life for his country, and I think it a good thing that we have enacted term limits so that no others may answer the call to that degree.
Did he made the choices I would have? No. Not. At. All.
And yet, grudgingly, I must admit something - his choices worked out about as well as my vision would have in theory. But in fact, his vision worked out in practice. So, as radical as FDR was at the time, HIS vision brought us a stable status quo that held far, far longer than his tenure; indeed, it lasted until the Neocons who desire to dismantle every vestige of it.
And as Dr. Phil is wont to say: "How's that workin' out for you?"
Ron Paul represents a very old tradition within American politics, one that predates Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and even the majority of Whigs. He represents the best of both Jefferson and Hamilton who, if they agreed on anything, agreed upon a common standard upon which disagreement could be based.
Both Hamilton and Jefferson were men of substantial property. Indeed, in terms of effective wealth and influence, both would be billionaires today. Each gained their wealth by different means, and each viewed that wealth in different ways, but neither could conceivably be considered to be unbiased by it. And as far as I know, both knew the importance of real, hard, inarguable cash money as a foundation to the economy.
Further, and obviously, I think both would concede that the Federal Reserve is largely a scam.
I cannot go farther than that. For myself, I think it a scam that has achieved real positives - but I think also that it's time has come and gone.
Further than that, I giggle shamelessly in the face of an economy based on gold or silver, though I think currency minted of these metals would go a long way toward reestablishing faith in it's "basement value."
That is to say, I would approve of a dollar that is worth no less than once ounce fine silver, as constitutionally defined - but I would not at all object to it being worth so much more that we regularly use paper Yen as small change.
Or so I believe in my ignorance, and in this regard, I commend Ron Paul to Barack Obama, who probably knows no more about the function of currency in the economy than do I.
What I do know - and this is for sure - is that neither man has the entirety of understanding required to repair our economy and our personal self-confidence. Even including John Edwards' perspective, I come to this conclusion so I must say that if Obama cannot include Ron Paul in his official Cabinet - he should include him in his Kitchen Cabinet. The man has earned that place, if only by making a Fed chairman cry in front of Congress.
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